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The video conferencing studios at University of Duisburg-Essen Possibilities, Limitations and Experiences -

The video conferencing studios at University of Duisburg-Essen: - Possibilities, Limitations and Experiences -

Done by:

Group 1 Levon Altunyan,

Katerina Milina

LevonAltunyan@googlemail.com,

milina@abv.bg

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The video conferencing studios at University of Duisburg-Essen Possibilities, Limitations and Experiences -

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Table of Contents

Table of Figures Figure 1.......................................................................................................................................3 Figure 2.......................................................................................................................................3 Figure 3.......................................................................................................................................3 Figure 4.......................................................................................................................................4 Figure 5: Room BK 009 from lecturers view.............................................................................4 Figure 6: Room LB 237 from lecturers view..............................................................................4 Figure 7: Room BK 009 from the view of the audience.............................................................5 Figure 8: Room LB 237 from the view of the audience.............................................................5 Figure 9: Video conferencing main interface..............................................................................6

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The video conferencing studios at University of Duisburg-Essen Possibilities, Limitations and Experiences -

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1. Differences between Videoconferencing and face-to-face meetings Due to the ever increasing requirement of communication and coordination between spatially separated units between organization, technology has begun to have an increasingly more important role in the meeting and decision making process. The use of teleconferencing has allowed organizations to break the spatial division that hindered different offices to communicate successfully, and has reduced the cost of these meetings allowing for a more frequent communication. At the cost of efficiency, there are several drawbacks that must be contemplated by the administration when using collaborative technology. The successfully implementation of the telecommunication tool implies the minimization of miscommunication, the establishment of roles, expertise and trust as well as the creation of organizational policies and processes. Other issues as fear of technology and ensuring the participation of all members in the decision making process is also required. Due to the growing acceptance of collaborative technologies, it is important to understand the differences between video conferencing and face to face interaction. For this, several comparative researches have been done to underscore and understand the differences and separate advantages of each of the communication methods. Video conferencing has the advantage over normal computer assisted interaction that there is a growing number of variables that can be manipulated and communicated between the participants that would not be otherwise possible. This speeds up the progress and stimulates the exchange of ideas in these types of conferences. Due to the heterogeneity of the possible scenarios in which computer assisted conferences can occur; there is not yet a complete understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of computer assisted interactions. Furthermore, as technology advances and new forms of more subtle communication channels open, previous research turns obsolete; for example a great deal of research related to computer assisted conferencing was mainly done through keyboard based interactions, research may not apply to the now prevalent teleconferencing interactions. A preliminary analysis of computer assisted interaction vs. face to face meetings does show a shortcoming in the side of computer mediated interaction, as these types of meeting usually require more time to reach the same results that would be reached in face to face groups, thus, information is being lost or is not being transmitted through the use of the computer assisted software. Minimizing the loss of this information is the main objective of CSCW. The greatest difference was seen when non-verbal communication was of greatest importance to the communication. In some researches, it was shown that for the case of women, face to face communication had a far better result than for men as women rely more on non-verbal cues. However, results are still mixed and some authors report better satisfaction from women with computer mediated discussions. On the other hand, the quality of computer assisted decision was greatly enhanced over face to face, as teams using the computer tools had the ability to 1


The video conferencing studios at University of Duisburg-Essen Possibilities, Limitations and Experiences -

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ensure that all members had an equal say on the decision and avoided several shortcomings that exist on face to face meetings due to social abuse or power struggling between members of the group. Among the advantages encountered it is find: increased discussion, lowered persuasion of individual arguments, lower conformity, the development and consideration of more solution alternatives, more unconventional decisions and greater equality of participation, and higher satisfaction with the process. It is not clear if the advantages described above stem directly from the tools or rather from the result of lower pressure due to the physical separation of the group members. As with keyboard interactions, videoconferencing allows for a physical separation of the member, however, the addition of visual and oral communication may actually increase the pressure of the members. On the other hand, this same visual and oral information that is being passed also increases the feedback information passed to the other members improving the decision process. In itself, Videoconferencing is a mixed bag with advantages and disadvantages compensating one another. Other reports indicate that computerized decision system improved the decisionmaking process but lead to less thorough and critical discussion. One specific experiment, reported that the teams in a face to face meeting were better informed and generated better recommendations than teams communicating via computers. A lot of social information that is usually available in face to face interactions is lost when using computer-mediated communications, though as shown above this is not always a disadvantage (i.e. lower pressure). However, the reduced feedback is probably the cause of several shortcomings of computer based interactions.

2. Videoconferencing rooms at the University Duisburg-Essen There are two rooms available as videoconferencing studios in the Campus Duisburg, room BK 009 and room LB 237. The provided equipment supports several scenarios of use: • Conferences intended as meeting or hearing • Lectures with a lecturer and locally distributed students. • Seminar or colloquia with a refferent and audience at different locations The connection is established using an ISDN transmission via internet with up to a data rate of 768 kbps. The quality depends on the available numbers of lines (S0interfaces) of the external partners. Each S0-interface provides a data rate of 128 kbps. The system installed at Duisburg provides up to 4 of these S0-interfaces.

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The video conferencing studios at University of Duisburg-Essen Possibilities, Limitations and Experiences -

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Figure 1

Using a Multipoint connection as the one shown below, both video-conferencing rooms allow the connection of up to three external partners.All partners in Point to point connections require to be connected with the same data rate. The following possible schemata of connection between the video conferencing studios with the corresponding data rate for three and four distributed sites is shown below.

Figure 2

Figure 3

At the videoconferencing studio BK 009, a dual monitor display is used. Below is presented the area of operations for the lecturer, and various possibilities of interaction with the audience:

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The video conferencing studios at University of Duisburg-Essen Possibilities, Limitations and Experiences -

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Figure 4

Figure 5: Room BK 009 from lecturers view

Figure 6: Room LB 237 from lecturers view

The parts of the videoconferencing studio that relate directly to the lecturer are: • Microphone to transmit audio to the connected locations. • Controlmonitor 1 to controll the video by the lecturer which is transmitted to the remote locations. • Controlmonitor 2 is used to display the local video of the lecturer. • Touchpanel for the mobile control of the connected devices. • Camera 2 is the camera which is taking the picture of the lecturer. The video recorded here is transmitted to the connected remote sites and, as written before, shown on controlmonitor 2.

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The video conferencing studios at University of Duisburg-Essen Possibilities, Limitations and Experiences -

Figure 7: Room BK 009 from the view of the audience

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Figure 8: Room LB 237 from the view of the audience

The parts faced towards the audience of the videoconferencing studios are: • (Top-)Microphone for transmitting the comments of the audience to the connected locations. • Beamer to present the referent at the other location or the present the conference partners at the other location. • Camera to transmit the picture of the audience to the referent or audience at the connected locations. To establish a video conferencing connection between the two used locations, the touchpannel located at the front desk is used. In the beginning the system requires to be initialized by an authorized person. To start, the touchpannel has to be activated by tipping softly on the surface. After touching the field “start”, a type of connection has to be selected first of all. Two options are given: • Vorlesung (lecture) • Videokonferenz (video conference) For the purposes of the lab in, in which we participated, only the option “Videokonferenz” was used and further explained. After choosing the type of connection, the sources for the local displays had to be selected, by touching the field “Quellenwahl Projektor 1”. The display altered to the assignment of sources for the displays. After that the buttons “1” for Hauptmonitor and “2” for Monitor2 had to be selected. Now the display of control monitor 1 viewed the interface of the video conferencing software and the local video was displayed on one of the beamers (at BK) or TV (LB). the field “zurück zum Hauptmenü” was used to leave this option and return to the main menu.

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The video conferencing studios at University of Duisburg-Essen Possibilities, Limitations and Experiences -

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Figure 9: Video conferencing main interface

After preparing the local video sources, the connection was established in the next step. From the main menu (Hauptmenü) we selected “Steuerung Videokonferenz” to open the connection management window. Select “Ruf/Auflegen” from the upper left of the menu to initialize the connection interface. After that the IP Address of the oposite partner which should be contacted had to be entered. To enter the IP, touch the field “Tastatur Zahleneingabe” and enter the address. • to insert a dot “.”, touch the field “

”,

• to delete an digit or dot, touch the field “

”,

• to finish, press the circle in the middle “ ”. On the controlmonitor2 you can view your entries. Moving with the up and down arrows, other fields can be selected on the output of controlmonitor2. The current selection is highlighted by a yellow frame. Besides the IP, the data rate is an important field in this menu. Select the field “Datenrate” and choose one of the offered connection speeds. The conferencing system is configured to automatically accept incomming call , thus the other location does not have to undertake additional steps. Before finally running the conference, the source displayed by the beamer needs to be changed a last time to the remote location. Select the field “Steuerung Videokonferenzen” from the main menu “hauptmenü”. Select the entry “Nah” to alter the local display of “Eingang 2”. Select the source by touching the left or right arrow for the remote source and confim by touching “ ”. To close a connection, select again “Ruf/auflegen” from the main menu and confirm the question if the connection shall be saved by selecting “nein”.

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The video conferencing studios at University of Duisburg-Essen Possibilities, Limitations and Experiences -

3. References 1) University of Duisburg-Essen, Faculty of Engineering, CSCW, Videoconferencing Studio 2) http://www.fb9dv.uniduisburg.de/ti/en/education/teaching/ws0708/cscwse/lab/lab%203.pdf 3) Face-to-Face vs. Videoconferencing and Virtual Meetings: increasing the emotional bandwidth http://www.rikomatic.com/blog/2008/09/videoconferenci.html 4) Benefits of a Video Conference Over Traditional Face to Face Business Meetings http://ezinearticles.com/? Benefits-of-a-Video-Conference-Over-Traditional-Face-to-Face-BusinessMeetings&id=4350612 5) Face-to-Face VS. Video Conference: A Which-to-Choose Checklist http://www.theocsinsider.com/ocs-2007/face-to-face-vs-video-conference-awhich-to-choose-checklist/

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